How To Go Offline Without Getting Stressed

During a recent holiday in the Himalayas I happened to lodge at a homestay. A calm, serene place which had, to my joy, no TV ! Yes, I hate the idiot box. I was very excited, feasting my eyes on the greenery, till I decided to upload a photo of this beauty. Voila! The place had no mobile phone connectivity as well!
My husband had a hearty laugh, considering I am the one, out of us two (being a writer and voracious reader) who spends most of her time online. He is just the opposite! And we had to live like that for five days! He was joyous at the idea, while I was a bit lost initially. But after those five days, I felt I had undergone a detox treatment. Yes, I confess it.

1. Enjoy the “ME TIME”

So after signals could not be accessed, I had so much time at hands which I spent doing a lot of things. I also happened to explore a place which none of you will find even on Google. I penned my first travelogue sitting there. I went for long walks with my husband, which we could never do in our busy city life; we cooked together and even sang our favourite songs. And I realised it is really not that difficult “TO GO OFFLINE, WITHOUT GETTING STRESSED.”
So here backed by many, as you will read below, I will elaborate on my new-found joy which will eventually help you detoxify as well.

2. Start a Conversation

How many times in the day do you speak to the ones around you? Whether working or not, most of us these days exchange text messages, jokes, memes and even laughs as smileys over the internet. Now, recall your childhood; wasn’t it happier OFFLINE?  We had such fun, meeting friends playing with them, till internet took over.

Going offline

“In a span of two years, the hyper use of my smartphone has gotten me used to constant stimulus, and with this comes a certain anxiety of expectation. I am now working hard to reverse this habit, at times switching off literally, to escape from the constant barrage of slack, e-mail, social media and what not. The pleasure of a real conversation, a walk in the sunshine and an organic activity like sports, baking or gardening is unparalleled by the virtual universe,” opines Merril Diniz, Content & Communications Head, SHEROES.
So Merril suggests that go…grab a coffee with a co-worker or friends, put that glowing box you call a smartphone on airplane mode and have a fun chat! Remember, human-to-human interactions go a long way in strengthening personal bonds.

3. Get out, Get a A Life

I decided to discuss this topic with some more people, whose life and works revolves around staying online all the time. I was surprised to know, they prefer to go offline before starting another day.

Nitin Bhatia, Managing Director, Executive Alerts, Meltwater India told me, “My colleagues think I am online & working 24/7. And I sometimes feel the most healthy & active part of my body are my fingers as my mobile keep them busy. But I do go offline and don’t get stressed at all. I pursue my hobbies, whether being on the field playing cricket or playing badminton or simply experiment in the kitchen. So for getting disconnected from the online world means indulging in things that me happy. And the longer you spend time in a hobby, the lesser are the chances of getting stressed. In-fact they diminish.” Nitin is a former national level Badminton player as well.

4. Cure Yourself of FOMO.

Swear upon God…do you really feel good when you see those photos of friends on a vacation while you slog at work? Well don’t lie. A psychiatric study reveals that 80-90% of the current breed of the social media generation suffers from FOMO–FEAR OF MISSING OUT.”
“So going offline for a while, say for a week or few hours daily. It will cure you off this feeling of making yourself feel terrible due to a third person. You will learn the fact of life that no two people live under the same circumstances,” says psychiatrist Edwina Scott from Ontario.

5. No Stress, Only Rest

“Checking emails in bed is what I used to do, till I was diagnosed with Insomnia. So I decided to not bring any gadgets in my room. It has been six months, no withdrawal symptoms!” laughs Sita N Sinha a former bureaucrat and a very active social worker.

So mark our words and attempt small sessions offline. And we assure, you will find yourself much more productive. And for those staying alone, Maryada Sharma, Stem Cell scientist from Harvard now working with the PGI, Chandigarh, has the final advice, “Go adopt a pet and let your smartphone or laptop feel like an orphan for a while.”
Mahima Sharma, Columnist Techthirsty.com
(Author is former News Editor with CNN-News18 & ANI-Reuters)
Do write to us at editorial@techthirsty.com or Tweet to us at @Techthirsty.
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Finally, Achhe Din Aa Gaye with Diwali Sales

With festivities kicking in, online marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, Nykaa, Jabong and Shop Clues are all geared up to help you fill your homes and closets with the best of goodies from the best of brands. Be it the new One +5 or an iPhone 7, Samsung’s 18-inch LED monitor or Panasonic’s 40-inch full HD LED TV, a MAC lipstick or The Body Shop’s skin care range, these e-portals offer the best of brands with a minimum discount of 15 -20 percent.

After demonetization and Modi’s GST gamble hitting the market and our pockets, these deals are worth a try. If you have been living under a rock and not shopped online yet, buying some of your preferred brands online might be the best idea this year because of all the wonderful deals you can enjoy. Ecommerce sales for retail goods are growing at an unimaginable pace because of the deals and discounts that customers enjoy. There are no two ways about it. The only challenge is to find the right deals, without falling for false promises. Along with good discounts, online shopping portals offer additional advantages like cashback on certain credit cards, 0 percent interest on EMI and more. At least now with all of the mid-season, semi-annual and festive sales, you don’t have to break the bank to give a makeover to your house or your wardrobe.

However, if you tend to get confused with the overload of information out there, owing to the extensive product range, numerous deals, discounts and hidden terms & conditions, we are happy to help.

Some simple tips to shop smartly this festive season

  • Look up the reputation

With numerous online portals floating in the marketplace, it is important to know where to shop. Make sure the website you plan to shop has a good reputation. Find this with the help of Google user reviews. In the tech-savvy world that we live in, social media platforms are also buzzing with reviews posted by shoppers. Check the credibility of the shopping site and buy products only of the brands you know of.  It is best not to purchase products solely on the basis of attractive discounts, cashbacks and attractive images.

  • Plastic money or COD?

Although Cash on Delivery might seem like a safe bet for new shoppers, swiping your debit/credit card has its own benefits. During the sale season, these websites along with partner banks offer great discounts and other benefits if the payment is done through a registered card. A lot of online shopping portals run cashback offers in tie up with various banks, which comes as a pleasant surprise in the bank account. Plastic money is also good because you can accumulate points which can be used for future purchases.

Caution remains the key when you shop with plastic money. It can trap you in a vicious circle, ruin your finances and take away all future Diwalis with it. So spend wisely and repay the bank on time.

  • Read the fine lines

A smart shopper tries to browse through different websites to check availability and prices. It is also good to read the product descriptions and reviews posted by customers who have purchased and used the same product. This is also a good way to do a price comparison to get the best deal during these festive sales. For instance, Apple iPhone 7 on Flipkart costs Rs. 39,999, while on Amazon it’s priced at Rs. 46,999.

  • Be patient

Stay away from making impulsive purchases just because of discounts and offers so you don’t burn your pocket. It is best to first decide what you actually want and avoid buying products you don’t really need. This will help you benefit from the Diwali sales, instead of being weighed down by it.

  • Watch out for hidden charges

Whilst placing your final order, check the shipping cost that is being charged. All these websites offer free shipping once your amount totals to a certain purchase value.

  • Don’t discount the ‘coupon codes’

Although you don’t want to be disturbed by numerous promotional mail and messages from these websites on an everyday basis, in order to get coupon codes and promotional discounts, it is good to subscribe for them. These portals keep running promotional offers and codes that can be used on different products offered on their website.

We hope these tips will you make better purchases this festive season without burning a hole in your pocket.

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The Good, Bad and Ugly of Online Shopping During Festivals

If you are a person who loves to shop wisely, then online portals must be your current favorite. Having gained vast traction, online shopping websites have exciting deals and amazing discounts for everyone. The biggest benefit of buying online is the “convenience” it offers. All you need is a decent internet connection and then you are all set to shop from anywhere, at any time. Also, almost all e-commerce brands have their own mobile apps, so this makes the shopping experience even richer. Want something? Order it while sitting in your couch in front of the television. It couldn’t get better than that, right? However, it’s always advisable to do a detailed product research before burning that hard-earned cash. User reviews have become common and you probably rely on them a great deal as they are first-hand experiences of online shoppers.

A self-confessed shopaholic, I do my research well. Even if I have to buy a pen drive, I have, like many of you, mastered the art of comparison. By comparing the product prices on different e-commerce websites, not only am I able to save a few extra bucks but also get a sense of satisfaction and victory. Human behavior I blame!

With the ongoing festive sale on different E-commerce websites, thousands of us flock the online market to get the best deal at low prices. With a plethora of options, the offers are mind-boggling, transaction is secure, shipping is fast and even the return policies are clearly stated. Having plenty of pluses in their kitty, these websites attracts consumers from all walks of life who can browse different categories more quickly than physically strolling down the aisles, and can do so 24 hours a day, without ever having to head to the shop.

Online shoppers tend to have hiccups the first few times. They doubt the authenticity and credibility of websites. One of the key concerns is investing in something without having the product in hand. There is the Indian psyche of enjoying a one-to-one relationship with the salesman.

Shopping online during the festival season can work well

To help those who want to shop online this season for the first time ever, we look at some important tips from people who shop online really, really frequently.

Access it anytime, anywhere: Online shopping allows the consumer to shop from any vendor, at any time, and from anywhere in the world. It offers availability of a range of merchandise and brands in a single place. All one needs is a mobile or a laptop and internet connection and then you are set to shop across multiple marketplaces.

Enjoy better deals and promotions online: With festivities around the corner, all the big e-commerce players have announced massive discounts along with their current promotional campaigns. It also allows the buyers to find the best quality products at the best affordable prices. This proves to be a great catch for those who are planning to buy new phones, LEDs, etc. as there are amazing discounts going on.

It’s the best for busy bees out there:For anyone who is busy, online shopping is a life saver. With only weekends to rest, online shopping sites have saved  valuable shopping time that is usually spend stuck on choked-up roadways. Shopping can now be done without worrying about the time restrictions or location constraints. The virtual world of shopping is now easily accessible with a click and the product gets delivered at your doorstep.

What are the disadvantages of shopping online?

Pretty much like everything that is new, online shopping tends to have its disadvantages. Let us look at some things you should watch out for.

Look for warranty information:Products sold on these websites often lack internal warranty. So in case of a problem, it tends to leave you clueless. Another important thing to consider is the return policy. Whilst some promise a one-year return policy, others might not state anything regarding the exchange rule.

Beware of being fleeced:Since in online shopping you cannot get the feel of the product, meaning that you can’t touch it, there are websites who often take advantage of this factor and sell products of inferior quality. Also, with Photoshop becoming a handy tool, people often get confused by the appearance and later regret.

Scams are commonplace:A common place for consumers to frolic, online scams have also raised at a tremendous rate. With zillion options available, consumers often tend to pick up the site that offers the lowest price, however the transaction is not secure. In such cases, the person is not only defeated but also loses trust in these portals.

Improving every day, internet shopping is a usefuland worthy industry. For instance, imagine yourself in a place which doesn’t have a fancy mall or a good dealership from where you can purchase a branded ear phone or a music player, online shopping has made life easy for you. All you need to do is to go to a trusted website, click on the desired product and check the reviews. Then add it to the cart, choose payment option and wait for 4-5 days to have it delivered to your doorstep.

Happy digital shopping!

Do write to us at editorial@techthirsty.com or Tweet to us at @Techthirsty.

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Is the 280 Character Count a Sign of Twitter’s Nervousness?

 

Silicon-valley giant Twitter has never turned a profit in the 11 years of its consequential existence. The real hit seemed to be when the company reported a further 8% decline in its first-quarter revenue to $548m in July this year. Advertisers of Twitter saw waning value in the social media giant and ad revenue for the three-month period fell 11% at $474m.

At the time though, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey celebrated the report saying the number of daily active users on the social media had gone up to 328 million for the fourth consecutive quarter. He said the number of users went up 14% compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Clearly, the company knows that it is up against some strong currents. Competing with companies like Facebook and Google makes it a bigger challenge for Twitter.

Noticing the lowering interest of its subscribers, Twitter gave some flexibility to the character limit by allowing images and pictures in addition to the character count. The @replies were also excluded from the count. Things have not changed despite these efforts. People are not staying on the social media platform long enough. English-speaking users, who make a bulk of their subscribers, are posting lesser on the social media platform. This is with reference to Twitter’s blog post mentioning that the testing of 280 characters comes from the fact that Japanese, Chinese, and Korean languages are more space-efficient than others.

News that Twitter will now be testing the possibility of a 280-character count is a sign of nervousness. Twitter is trying to introduce a much higher character count for Tweets but fans of the crisp networking platform are not really thrilled.

Some responses on Twitter to this increase in character count came like this:

 

Twitter has to find ways to make itself profitable. Currently, that’s what the company needs to focus on. It is not that the investors are expecting a lot from the company’s growth. It has to fight for ad revenue against strong competitors like Facebook and Google. While the latter has always shown value for advertiser money, Facebook has also made itself profitable in the recent times. Clearly, Twitter needs to move that way soon.

Increasing the character count might not be good for its regular visitors. However, there are hopes that it would encourage more users to visit the platform more frequently. Additionally, it would benefit brands, which tend to face constraints while using Twitter as an integral part of their promotional mix.

Investors are ready to wait on this move. Twitter stock went up 2.17% yesterday by USD .36. Seeing the initial responses on Twitter, it looks like this one could pick up soon enough. Here are some Tweets from users who received the 280 character limit right after the announcement.

Speaking of the new test, the company acknowledged the emotions of those who have been tweeting for years with 140 characters. “But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint,” the company said.

Twitter does have greater challenges to deal, apart from the character limit. Two of the key issues are that of maintaining an active user base, and generating value for investors.

 

Do write to us at editorial@techthirsty.com or Tweet to us at @Techthirsty.Read the rest

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Are You Raising a Screen Slave?

A friend’s five-year-old son refuses to eat or do his school-work unless she hands him a smartphone. Whose fault? Well, we are not here for a blame game, but let’s try to find a solution to this viral problem. First thing’s first, let’s be realistic and accept that technology is re-defining our lives. It is important for a child to have an aptitude for technology. Another thing we need to accept is that being born around gadgets, children are getting addicted faster. The question is: “How to ensure we don’t raise a screen-slave at home?” I spoke to many parents and experts to draw out some conclusions to help us ascertain we are not raising one!

“First of all restrict the use of your own gadget in front of them. Someone is watching even if I am not acting; he follows what I do, not what I say. That someone is my child,” asserts Aalok Sharma, a merchant navy officer currently working in Hong Kong.

1. Gadgets cannot work as babysitters

Don’t expect gadgets to substitute your presence. It’s fair that with both parents working, paying attention to your child at all times can be difficult. You might not have as much time to devote to your child as you would like. But, remember that nothing can replace the presence of a parent. And if it does or has, it must raise an alarm.

Aviation Engineer Sherpal Singh from Goa, India tells me, “Rather than a ‘Gadget Bar’ we need a ‘Relationship-Academy’ at home. Understand your child’s needs and build your relationship around it; it is the only way out.”

screen slaves

“If I chose to be a parent, why outsource my child to technology? We have to build a bond beyond gadgets,” says Abhimanyu Pratap Singh, media entrepreneur and father to a three -year-old girl.

I agree. My neighbour’s seven-year-old daughter doesn’t hunt for gadgets when her software engineer mother and banker father are at work. She is either doing her homework, engaged in crafts, or taking a siesta to stay fresh.

2. Involve children in arts & craft

Child psychologist Ridhima Nair Paul writes to me from Canada, “Colours and crafts open out a new world to children–a world of imagination, a world of creativity, a world of dreams, a world of goals beyond mundane life. Rather than feeding your kid by handing over a smartphone, make her hold a crayon & paper and draw the food she is eating.”

3. Encourage outdoor activities

Let’s stop making excuses about not having enough outdoor space. Even gardening or tending to potted plants (which we all have) is an outdoor activity. A child racing in the lawn, feeding the birds and breathing in nature is likely to enjoy better mental stimulation than one hooked to a gadget.

Parenting, outdoor play

Rashpal Dasgotra–father to a son and a daughter–both below the age of 10 says, “I engage them in channelizing their energy in physical as well as mental exercises. And for this I take them to play outdoors; to travel with me as often as possible. We visit farms and explore places of interest. I gift them sports gears rather than a new gadget. Eventually, the screen will come into their lives. So why now?” Rashpal is a senior journalist with Korean TV’s India bureau in New Delhi. He is mostly busy on outdoor shoots but finds time to do this.

4. Encourage personal visits over media chats

Remember, how as kids we used to visit our friends to enjoy group study or to play outdoors? Then why are our children restricted to a social media messenger to exchange the same warmth? Think about it. “Man is a social animal. And we are our ourselves deviating our children from the same fact,” says Thomas N Sean, a psychiatrist from Italy.

5. Introduce them to good literature

Aalok’s wife Suveera Sharma shuttles between India and Hong Kong, balancing life between her husband and in-laws staying in India. Hong Kong is a far more technically-developed city than Indian metropolises. Yet, she doesn’t believe in handing over a gadget to her teenage daughter. Instead, she keeps her free to read books and novels. She also prefers to see her son play outdoors.

6. Don’t be a spy, be a cautious caretaker

Psychologist David Thompson from Sydney writes to me, “If your child is already an addict to a gadget, it will take time, patience and love to get him/her out of that zone. Firstly, restrict the use at your end. And then teach the child harms of excessive use, rather than scolding him/her, snatching away the gadget etc.” (sic).

All of the above are some great tips that parents and psychologists follow to ensure children are not addicted to technology. Shobha Rana Grover, mother to a tiny tot and an NRI in Germany sums up everyone’s dilemma well: “Parenting has no set of rules. But it is a dynamic subject like Science, which can be handled best with a little guidance from experts.”

Mahima Sharma, Columnist TechThirsty
(Author is a former News Editor at CNN-News18, ANI-Reuters)

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US Official Supports Surveillance on the Eve of European Union Data Ruling

A senior US official said, “US intelligence does not conduct mass, indiscriminate harvesting of foreigners’ private data,” on the eve of an EU court ruling, which is deemed to affect several companies including Facebook and related websites.

Robert Litt, who is the legal adviser to the Director of National Intelligence, firmly invalidated all allegations suggesting that Prism, an US surveillance program, allows US officials to look into personal data and information on vast scale.

Litt went ahead and wrote in the Financial Times, “Prism is focused and reasonable. It does not involve ‘mass’ and ‘unrestricted’ collection of data.”

The existence of Prism was leaked in the year 2013 by Edward Snowden, a former NSA agent. This revelation instigated Max Schrems, an Austrian student, to file a complaint with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner to challenge the transfers of European user’s data to US servers by Facebook.

This case is now being heard in the European Court of Justice, which will be ruled on Tuesday. The ruling will be done on the validity of the total legal framework, called Safe Harbour, which lets more than 4000 firms, from airlines to social media groups to transmit data to the US from the EU.

With the abolishment of Safe Harbour, every kind of transfers would be either restricted or become more expensive and time consuming, under EU laws that forbid data-sharing with nations considered to have lesser privacy standards like the US.

US officials are eagerly waiting for the outcome to decide ways to collect data in the future. The commission is expected to give a news conference on Tuesday at 1500 CET in response to the ruling. … Read the rest

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Apple iOS 9.0.2 Resolves A Lot Of Old Issues

Apple iOS 9.0.2Apple iOS 9.0.2 has received a new update, which has been rolled out to fix bugs and resolve issues of iCloud Back Up and iMessage activation. It will also fix issues of incorrect rotation of screen while receiving messages.

We updated the iPhone 6 soon after getting the update and saw many improvements on. No one can bypass the locked screen anymore, which was a major issue for many iPhone users. The security patch in the new update has fixed safety issues so your data, contacts, photos are completely secure.

There were complaints regarding the settings menu as well. We spoke to one of the users who told us that he was unable to get into the settings of phones. “I was not able to make any changes. With the new update, the issue has been fixed and I hope it stay like this,” he says.

iCloud backup concerns have also been taken care of.  “Oh, yes what a relief. There were times when the back-up would automatically stop if I started the manual back-up. I backed up my phone immediately after getting the update,” says Sunny Aggarwal.

The iMessage activation has also been fixed. Apparently, users we spoke to did not face any problems with iMessage but from Apple’s end it has been fixed.

Meanwhile, Apple’s recently released the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6 Plus phones, which have seen a record sale. The phones will be released in India on October 16.… Read the rest

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Edward Snowden Joins Twitter; 1 Million Followers In 24 Hours

Edward SnowdenTwitter has found a way with Edward Snowden—the man of the moment who doubles as a fugitive and is best known as an erstwhile National Security Agency contractor. He opened an account on the micro blogging site on Tuesday from Russia, where he is currently on exile. Within 24 hours, he has reached 1 million followers.

Best known for leaking massive surveillance secrets of the US government, Snowden is clearly not just a speck in the digital world anymore. And his handle seems to be as uptight as he is @snowden. His Twitter bio says: I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public.

The whopping followers’ saga

Right after he opened an account, Snowden attracted 171,000 followers—all within one hour and by the time the day was half way through, this followers’ list grew to 740,000. That speaks a lot about the fan-dom this man enjoys.

Ironically, Snowden is following a single account—the National Security Agency. Snowden even went so far as to tweet, “Meanwhile, a thousand people at Fort Meade just opened Twitter”. Fort Meade is the NSA’s Army base in Maryland.

Snowden’s first tweet read, “Can you hear me now?” A rip off from an advert of a cell phone provider seen on television, Snowden’s first tweet alone saw 25,000 retweets within one hour.

Some individuals who seem to support Snowden believe he is a classic whistleblower who lifted the lid off the excesses indulged in by the American government. However, the latter went on to file charges for espionage against Snowden. The government believes that he leaked intelligence information. Following all this, Snowden left USA in May 2013 and made Russia his home post grant of asylum there in the later part of 2013.

First reactions from Tweeple

The first reactions over social media to the Twitter account opening from Snowden have been positive. According to Thomson Reuters’s proprietary algorithm that scoured Twitter mentions or tweets about @snowden, it was revealed that there were 1,109 positive tweets against just 156 negative ones within the first hour of Snowden’s opener tweet.

Echoing popular sentiment, people around the world including IT analysts Naveen Maudgal from Ericsson, Noida and Anuj Jain from Oracle, Hyderabad, in India have labeled “Snowden as a geek and interesting man, instead of a traitor of sorts.”

During his initial hours on Twitter, Snowden also tweeted and retweeted exchanges with Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and popular radio talk-show. Incidentally, Tyson had earlier suggested that Snowden must get on to Twitter while interviewing the latter on his show earlier in September.

Wrapping Up

In fact, now that the tweeting saga from @snowden has begun, we got to know that this man is interested in stuff such as the Martian water discovery as well as his work for the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He did mention his fetish for cat pictures amid so much, though.… Read the rest

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Internet.org Is Now FreeBasics But Why?

net neutralityFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now considering a change in name for the controversial internet.org platform. Now being called Free Basics, it is meant to provide web access to more people by offering it free of cost. Free Basics will also allow these new users to enjoy complimentary services from around 250 partners.

Supported by leading mobile phone manufacturing companies like Nokia and Samsung, this free internet service from Facebook aims to connect around 4.4 billion people who are yet to be introduced to the online world.


Who will benefit? 

Eventually, Free Basics aims to connect areas that don’t have internet connectivity. This will be done using drones and laser technology. But currently, the platform aims to bring low network areas such as 2G networks under the Free Basics bandwagon. 

People living in India and other developing nations are going to benefit from the service. Surveys indicate that people living in remote areas will receive better guidance for pregnancy care, parenting, education and even farming using free internet services. 

Read more about the debate: The Net Neutrality Debate: Larger Than You Thought

What is the catch?

The concept of Free Basics is in direct contrast with the concept of net neutrality that smaller players and the advocates of internet are against. Subscribing to Free Basics implies only players who pay the provider will be accessible to users.

Ever since the internet has penetrated Indian households, it has given opportunity to entrepreneurs to expand and innovate. When they will have to start paying to be seen and heard on the internet, the market will only be available for the giants in every vertical.

For the end user, this means they will not have access to the new players. They would have restricted access to news, information and e-commerce.

 

When the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi met Mark Zuckerberg, this issue has been brought to light once again. … Read the rest

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Interview: NearGroup App Gets Neighbours Closer

While IIT Madras alumni Prashant Pitti was busy preparing for a marathon, he realized he needed company in the neighborhood. He was not motivated enough to run all by himself and was looking for someone who could train with him but struggled to find a neighbor to do that. Thus came the idea to launch an app that would connect you to people in the neighborhood–the Near Group app. NearGroup

Near Group app is a platform where people get to meet like-minded people. “We live in a digital world and there is no better way to interact, than in virtual groups,” says Pitti. This, the app makes socializing easy, he adds. Read on to know how Pitti thinks his new venture will bring like-minded people closer and make life easier.

What are the unique aspects of Near-Group app?

Pitti: It brings compatible people under one roof. In the times when everyone is leading a busy lifestyle, our app give you the opportunity to interact with neighbors who seldom step out of their houses.

How does it work?

Pitti: You can register on the app via Facebook. You can also request an invitation to the app on Neargroup.in. It allows people of the same location with similar interests become members of niche groups when they sign up.

How do users ensure that they are interacting with genuine people?

Pitti: No member can become the part of the group without going through a screening process. Their Facebook profiles are thoroughly screened before anyone is made the member of the group.

What you think of local businesses coming online?

Pitti: It is great that people are finally realizing the potential of digital media. Selling your products online is only a peek into the future.

What response have you got with Near Group app?

Pitti: The response has been tremendous. More than 15060 people have registered with the app till now.
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